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Francis T. Wakefield

Lady military pilot commands C-130 transpacific flight

The latest acquisition of the Philippine Air Force – a C-130T cargo plane made its transpacific flight from Tucson, Arizona under the command of a female military pilot, a first in the history of the Philippine military. “Actually I’m not the first (female) pilot to fly a C-130 plane but I’m the first to be certified as pilot in command. Of course it’s flattering that the command allowed it. There is no restriction for females for as long as you are qualified,” Air Force Maj. Marjorie D. Mukay. She thanked the Philippine Air Force (PAF) leadership for making her a part of the team which brought the aircraft to Manila. The PAF flight crew was headed by Lt. Col. Jason Rom J. Lacida.  Assisting him in operating the aircraft were  Major Anthony Amora, …

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Philippine Navy acquiring two frigates

The Philippine Navy is acquiring two frigates as it aims to be become strong and credible by year 2020. Defense Secretary DelfinLorenzanasigned the ceremonial contract of  the Frigate Acquisition Project, as the principal signatory, together with officials and delegates from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) (Korea). The project, according to the Naval Public Affairs Office chief Captain Lued L. Lincuna, involves the construction and delivery of two units of frigate to the Philippine Navy. Lincuna said the signing of the contract signals the start of the construction and is the culmination of the long and tedious procurement process for the project. As a background, Lincuna said the Notice of Award was approved, issued and was duly conformed by HHI on Sept. 13, 2016 with the amount of USD $336, 912,000 or P15, 744,571,584.00. Witnessing the event …

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Minor among 11 surrendering Abu Sayyaf members

A notorious sub-leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and kin of Furuji Indama along with 10 of his followers, including a 12-year-old child, surrendered to troops of the Joint Task Force Basilan on Monday, October 24. Tan said Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Moton Indama, along with his 10 followers, surrendered to the headquarters of the 64th Infantry Battalion in Sumisip, Basilan led by Lt. Col. Julius A. Cabarloc. Their age ranges from 12 to 35 years old. Tan said Indama and his followers also surrendered their firearms, which include three cal. 45 pistols, a cal. 38 handgun, an M653 Rifle, a MINIMI Sub machine gun, an M203 Rifle, an M1 Garand, a 12 gauge Shotgun, an M1 Carbibe and several ammunition and magazines. Tan said Indama, second cousin of Furuji Indama, is the leader …

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US-led Duterte ouster ‘absurd,’ says outgoing US envoy

Outgoing U.S. ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg downplayed on Monday, October 24 claims of a U.S.-led plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte from power because of his tough stance and continuous tirade on them. He said such claims made by former president and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada is untrue and has no basis. “Yeah I saw (the story) and I think its absurd,” Goldberg said as he attended the blessing and formal turnover of the second C-130T aircraft to the 220th Air Lift Wing of the Philippine Air Force at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Monday, October 24. Goldberg reiterated that relations between the U.S. and the Philippines remains “very strong” despite Duterte’s recent pronouncements of a shift in its foreign policy. “The United States is a great friend …

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2nd cargo plane joins Air Force

The second C-130 T cargo plane for the Philippine Air Force (PAF)  will be turned over to the 220th Air Lift Wing in Villamor Air Base in Pasay City Monday. Col. Antonio Z. Francisco, the director of the PAF's Public Information Office (PIO), said Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana will be guest of honor and speaker at the turnover. PAF chief Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina and other high-ranking Air Force officials are expected to attend. Francisco said the C-130 T arrived at the Brig. Gen. Benito N. Ebuen Air Base in Lapu-Lapu City from Tucson, Arizona, last October 9. Francisco said the plane is expected to boost the Air Force’s transport and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) capability. The C-130 T provides rapid transportation for personnel or cargo for delivery by parachute or landing. …

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Lawin’s damage to infra, agri tops P2 B

Damage to infrastructure and agriculture in areas hit by Super Typhoon Lawin has now reached more than P2 billion, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported Sunday, October 23. Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, NDRRMC executive director and civil defense administrator, said a total of P2, 047,760,777. 90 worth of damages was incurred in Regions I, II, III and CAR. Of the damages, P1, 402,245,000.00 was incurred for infrastructure while P645, 515,777.90 was incurred for agriculture. A total of 31,751 families or 158, 736 persons were preemptively evacuated in Regions I, II, III, CALABARZON, V and CAR. A total of 48,521 families or 228,695 persons were also served inside and outside evacuation centers. Jalad also said there are still eight confirmed fatalities from the typhoon—all from CAR—with all the other casualties still being validated if they …

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‘Sayyaf leaders mislead followers’

An arrested member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) yesterday bared that group’s leaders have been misleading their followers by encouraging them to commit crimes against innocent individuals and making it appear legal. According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the revelation was made by ASG member Pauji Asgari during a psycho-social processing and assessment. Speaking in the vernacular and assisted by a translator, Asgari said he was baffled when he was arrested by government forces. Asgari said that he and other ASG members have been indoctrinated to believe that there is nothing illegal with the nefarious activities they carry out against civilians and the military in Mindanao. Asgari's mother showed up a day after his arrest and thanked soldiers for treating his son well before he was turned-over to Sulu PNP …

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South Korean vessel seajacked in Tawi-Tawi; 2 crew members hostaged

A South Korea-flagged ship was seajacked by armed men aboard a speedboat off the waters of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi on Thursday, with two crew members taken hostage, the military reported Friday, October 21. The Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (AFP WestMinCom) said Park Chul Hong, captain of MV Dong Bang Giant, and crew member Glenn Alindajao, from Cebu, were reportedly seized by 10 suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) under Jul Hassan. The cargo ship came from Australia and is transiting en route to South Korea when the seajacking happened at about 2:45 p.m. Thursday. Reports disclosed that the perpetrators are alleged followers of  Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Idang Susukan. Army Major Filemon Tan Jr., AFP WestMinCom spokesman, said the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi has already alerted all units and dispatched military assets …

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Nine Manila cops in violent rally dispersal relieved

A police colonel and eight other policemen from the Manila Police District (MPD) were ordered relieved from their posts following the violent dispersal of a rally near the Embassy of the United States in Manila last Wednesday that left 35 policemen and 22 demonstrators injured. Relieved by Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde, NCRPO chief, were Senior Superintendent Marcelino Pedrozo, MPD deputy district director for operations (DDDO) and overall supervisor of the policemen during the rally; Supt. Albert T. Barot, MPD Station 5 (Ermita) commander and ground commander; Chief Inspector Dionelle E. Brannon, Pedro Gil PCP commander; Chief Inspector Elmer P. Oseo, PS5 deputy chief; Chief Inspector Joebie M. Astucia; Chief Inspector Joebie M. Astucia, PS5 chief of operations; Chief Inspector Roberto N. Marinda, Company Commander CRB (Augmentation); Chief Inspector Roberto C. Mangune, …

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ASG involved in Kidapawan blast nabbed in Basilan

An alleged Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member said to be involved in the 2006 bombing in Kidapawan City was arrested by the police and military in Basilan on Wednesday, October 19. Ibrahim Akbar, with aliases “Ustadz Atti Lintongan,” “Ustadz Atti” and “Ustadz Namir,” was nabbed during a manhunt operation at Barangay Townsite in the town of Maluso at 1:40 a.m., the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said. The CIDG said Akbar has a standing warrant of arrest (WOA) issued by a local court for multiple murder with multiple frustrated murder. Senior Supt. Anthony Aberin, regional chief of CIDG Region 9, said aside from the 2006 Kidapawan bombing, Akbar was also involved in the kidnapping of Claretian priest Bernardo Blanco in 1993 and the firefight against the military in Maluso in 1992. He carries a …

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